In this important classic work, one of America's foremost social scientists introduces a significant approach to the causation of delinquency and advances an all-inclusive strategy for coping with a national problem of continuing concern. MacIver shows that delinquency is caused by a complex and bewildering interplay of many factors and is not susceptible to simplistic explanations and solutions. He advances reasoned critiques of various theories regarding the causation of delinquency, while suggesting that the two combined factors most closely associated with delinquency--despite its increase among middle class youth--are urbanized poverty and ethnic or racial discrimination. Citing the encouraging results obtained by the establishment of "predelinquent gangs" by various organizations, he demonstrates that prevention of delinquency is far more successful than rehabilitation.
MacIver emphasizes the need for a strategy consisting of closer coordination of programs, in nation as well as city, a sustained system of group after-care, and special training for law enforcement officers and judges to enable them to deal more competently with delinquents. In particular, he calls for better educational services, increased employment opportunities, and higher qualifications and salaries for counselors.
The Prevention and Control of Delinquency, exploring an important aspect of urbanized life in instructive and absorbing detail, points the way for effective action in the various areas of delinquent behavior. It provides a concrete description of the more important devices and experiments that are now being developed and practiced. Written by an outstanding authority, this major work on the theoretical understanding, control, and cure of one of the crucial problems of our urban civilization is addressed to social scientists, organizational leaders and workers, and educators and planners in the field.